Crime prevention

Metal theft

The value of lead and copper has risen considerably in recent years. Stealing these metals has become attractive and profitable for thieves. The theft of lead from the roofs of houses, churches and commercial buildings has become much more common and metals stored in open yards are vulnerable.

The following advice can help to reduce this type of theft:

  • remove easy access to building roofs, such as water butts and waste bins
  • store ladders in a secure place - this is particularly important if there's scaffolding in place
  • brief on-site security staff and make sure they regularly checks open storage yards
  • during checks, high visibility clothing should be worn - any offenders watching the premises are more likely to see staff movement, making theft less attractive
  • encourage all staff to report anything suspicious on or near the premises
  • report any suspicious pedestrian and vehicle movements to the police, so they can take immediately, appropriate action
  • make sure your CCTV works properly, and find out if CCTV run by adjoining businesses is working too as this may assist in capturing important evidence should a crime occur
  • make sure there's enough external lighting at vulnerable storage yards - this will deter criminals from finding potential 'weak spots' to work from - consider using temporary flood lighting
  • check external security fences for weak spots - criminals sometimes weaken fences and return later to steal property
  • consider moving vulnerable metal products closer to buildings
  • permanently mark materials so they can be identified if they are stolen and later recovered
  • take photos of particularly valuable or unusual items
  • consider displaying security signs that state that metals are security marked